"A journey of a thousand kilometers always begins with a first step"
- Lao Tzu -
The choice of the bank, the project to buy a brand new house, the daycare or the nanny ... Our upstream preparations.
THE BANK'S CHOICE
We chose the bank based on what it offered in terms of mortgage loan. The Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) allowed us to make our first real estate purchase. The down payment is about 40% of the house's price. It includes 35% of the amount of the property + one year payment + one year of property tax.
Regarding the mortgage rate, they are much higher than in France. Where in France we have a fixed rate for the term of our mortgage, here there is different options: fixed rate on one, two, three, four and five years / variable rates.
As a newcomer, if you want to ask for a mortgage and if you provide 40% of the amount of the house, you won't have to provide the proof of an employment contract (that was accurate in 2019, it could have changed...).
Debit and credit card information : we get lost quickly with all these bank cards! Debit / credit, what's the difference? Your debit card can be used as long as you have money in the account. The credit card is used to build up the banking history you will need if you want to ask for a loan in the future (eg: loan to buy a car or to apply for a loan for your children's studies). There is no money on this credit card. You have a limit according to your income and every 15 or 20 days you have to reimburse the purchases made with this card by making transfers between your accounts. Also, a credit card will be needed if you want to make hotel reservations / online purchases etc.
THE PROJECT TO PURCHASE A HOUSE
Before arriving in Fredericton, I searched on various websites for houses that met our expectations and in our budget. We fell in love with the plans for a townhouse under construction. I contacted the real estate agent a year before our estimated date of arrival to find out a little more about "how to buy a house in Canada?" / What are the additional costs to buy the house? etc ”. Here, you do not use a notary as in France but a lawyer to buy your property. As it is a new construction, there was no request for an inspection to be made.
The steps to buy a new property in a few words : you contact the real estate agent / You visit / You contact the bank / You call a lawyer / You make an offer and you wait….
Concerning us, between the visit and the purchase of the property it took 3 weeks.
For the lawyer's fees, that was about 2% of the house's price.
Good to know : attorney fees cannot be included in your mortgage.
List of some websites:
DAYCARE, NANNY, SCHOOL AND AFTER SCHOOL PROGRAM
Tya was 21 months old when we arrived in Canada. In 2017 when we started our process to immigrate, I immediately contacted daycare centers (French and English) by e-mail. After some research on the internet, I targeted ten daycare centers around the place we wanted to settle. Some daycares will charge you an “application” registration fee. It doesn't mean you'll get a spot, it just means you'll be on the waiting list.
Our goal is to have a place in the French daycare so that when Tya goes to school, she can then do her after-school in the same place (ex: The school "les Éclaireurs" and after-school program at the daycare "l'Envolée" - It is in the same building so that there is no need to take the bus after school).
We received a confirmation in May 2019 for a possible start on December 1, 2019 at “Little Geniuses” for Tya. This is an English daycare which is 900 meters away from the property we wanted to buy. As we planned to arrive on August 2019 in Fredericton and in order to be able to look for a job as soon as we arrived, I contacted few nannies through KIJIJI.CA to find an alternative for the months of September, October and November 2019. We communicated by emails with Tammy (English speaker) who lived 2 minutes away from my sister's house. She had a part-time space available (2 days a week). My sister met Tammy before it was confirmed that she would have Tya in September 2019 for two days a week. The "issue" we had was to determine who between me and my husband would look for job first as we had to take care of our daughter the other 3 days of the week... As Jean-Sebastien was a brand new retiree, we decided that I will start looking for a job first!
We were on the waiting list for the French daycare since May 2018. She will be able to have a full time space in September 2021 :)
Information on the nannies : In Canada, it is common to ask the nanny for a criminal record. This, really reassured me as I was going to let my daughter go to a perfect stranger I just contacted by e-mails and who lived thousands of kilometers away..
Information on rates : average prices is $ 300/350 every two weeks (I speak for the nanny and daycare I contacted). While in France we used to pay every month, here it is every two weeks.
Tya and the English environment - between the nanny and the daycare : Tya really quickly adapted to this total immersion in an English-speaking environment. She has no problem understanding French or English. What I find cute are these French / English phrases like: “Mommy, are you FROID? "," I want to go to PISCINE! ". She also says a really famous American expressions which is “oh my goodness! ". What a great experience for Tya. The bilingualism of the province is an amazing asset for her future!
The school system : in a few words, children are in daycare or with a parent or a nanny until the age of 5. Then they go to school. They go to school from around 8:00 am to 1:00 pm, then they go to their after-class program at the daycare. Of course, not all children go to an after-class program.
Follow Tya's adventures in this bilingual immersion in the next writings!